Thursday, March 31, 2011


The sewing machine joins what the scissors have cut asunder, plus whatever else comes in its path. –Mason Cooley

I didn't wait very long after Mr. Bug told me he'd gotten a job to do a little fabric shopping :mischief:. And let me tell you, it was fab{ric}ulous! And I managed to keep it under control. Everything you see here was bought on sale.

I won a Tweet Tweet Charm pack in Marg's giveaway a month or so ago {thank you Marg :hug:! You totally rock!} and when it arrived, I immediately thought, baby quilt! I decided to do another stacked coins quilt like Cozy Posies and so I looked through the charm pack to see what I liked for sashings and borders. Then I went on-line to see what was available. I found exactly what I was looking for on sale for $6 a yard. Of course, the shipping :rolleyes: cancelled some of that out, but I came out at least $1.50 ahead of what I would have paid in the shops, which is great since the one shop I saw it in around here didn't have what I wanted.

My next move was for solids. JoAnn's had a big sale on Kona Cotton and all their other quilter's solids last weekend. Everything was 40% off and I had an extra 25% off total purchase {they're doing that again in a couple of weeks :clap:; I've already staked out the batting situation and I'm going to take full advantage}. I got a pretty mauve to go with the Tweet Tweet, and then I got a solid to go with my Chubby Stars quilt, which stalled in the fabric purchasing stages due to lack of funding. This absolutely gorgeous solid is called Banana Cream and it will be the main background. I still need to get a solid for the star points, but at least I can start piecing the four-patches for the chains now. I might have to give up the hours between 1:00 and 6:00 am, but who needs sleep anyway :lol:?

I fiddled with my layout and added a chain border all around it {thanks for the inspiration, Karen}, and I'm still really excited about this quilt. My only problem is not enough time. Oh, and I have to find the perfect sort of khaki colored fabric to match the leaves on the roses for the star points. It is a really tricky color. It isn't quite tan and it isn't quite green and it is definitely not gray and I can't find anything that matches it anywhere. Well, I've only been to three stores. I guess I'll have to try a few more shops. That's not such a bad thing.

While I was in the solids, I picked up a bit of Kona Cotton in Chocolate for the back of the Metro Blues quilt. I've given up on coming up with a good name for the quilt and have decided to just call it Metro Blues for now, although P's suggestion of Chocolate in the City is still a contender. This is another quilt where my only problem with it is not enough time to work on it :lol:.

And last is this little bit of fabulousness. What :paranoid:? You don't think that a tan fabric with little tan circles on it is fabulous? Just wait. This little beauty is the foundation for the biggest polka-dot project in the history of polka-dots. It is going to be awesome. And it is on the official list, which means that once I finish Mr. Bug's T-Shirt Memory Quilt {which I'll update you on in a day or so}, I can work on making something amazing out of a little bit of tan fabric.

All told, I brought home 13¾ yards and I'm ready to start using it!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why the Prom Should be Outlawed

Andie: Did you say that you went to your Prom?
Iona: Yeah. Sure.
Andie: Was it terrible?
Iona: It was the worst. But it's supposed to be, you know? I mean, but you have to go, right?
Andie: Well, you don't have to. I mean, it's not a requirement.
Iona: I have this girlfriend who didn't go to hers and every once in a while she gets this really terrible feeling, you know, like something is missing. She checks her purse, you know? She checks her keys. She counts her kids. She goes crazy and then she realizes that nothing is missing. She decided it was side effects from skipping the prom.
Andie: I don't know. I mean, part of me says I should just go and get it over with and this other part of me says it's this stupid tradition and what's the point?
Pretty In Pink, 1986

It's Way Back When-sday again. I've run out of Bradbury things to talk about, so I thought I'd amuse you with some pictures of dresses I made for high school dances in the late 80's and early 90's. I have to warn you, though; there is some big hair ahead. Most of it is mine :rofl:. Proceed with caution.

To get to the dance dresses, we have to go back to the beginning. I started sewing when I was 8 or 9. I did pillow cases and tote bags and shorts. Then I moved on to Cabbage Patch Kid clothes {which I have in my possession now and am amazed at what a terrible job I did on them. My motto was, I don't unpick :lol:!}, and by the time I got to Jr. High, I was was making clothes for myself. Dresses were my favorite. When I got to High School, word got out that I did a decent job and so I had a few friends ask if I would make their dance dresses for them.

This was the first semi-formal dress that I made. I don't remember much about making any of these dresses, but the trip with my mom to the fabric shop for the pattern and fabric for this one sticks in my memory. The dress was for me; I wore it to Homecoming my sophomore year, but that is obviously not me in the picture. I couldn't find a picture of me in it, but luckily, I lent the dress to a really sweet friend who wore it to the Valentine's dance later that school year and I have a picture of her in it. Too bad you can only see about a third of the dress. The skirt has the same lace as the sleeves and trim at the collar over it. I still love that mauve watermark taffeta :lol:.

This is another dress I made for myself {on the right in the white dress with the big hair} at the same Valentine's Dance. How can you go wrong with a bubble skirt, puffy sleeves and bows on the shoulders? I wish I could see those red shoes better :wink:. I lent this dress to my sweet friend again for the Christmas Dance the next school year.

This is Homecoming my Junior year. And you thought my hair was big in the last picture :surprised:. I did the asking {and paying} to this dance. As a matter of fact, I did the asking to every dance I went to in High School. There were six every year; two girls' choice {Sadie Hawkins, which was casual dress, and Valentine's}, three boys' choice {Christmas, Jr. Prom & Sr. Cotillion} and anybody could ask to Homecoming. Nobody ever went to a dance 'stag.' It was unheard of. Tickets were sold in pairs. And there was a lot of excitement over the whole thing. Those asking for a dance partner would find creative, clever and sometimes embarrassing ways to ask their intended to the dance. Couples going to the dance formed into groups that made a night of it. Tuxes and limos were rented, expensive restaurant reservations were made, activities or parties for after the dance were planned. Sums equal to or greater than the National Debt were spent making it an occasion to remember. And then it was all repeated in 6 to 10 weeks.

I made this one for my friend for Prom our Junior year. I think this is possibly my favorite dress and I have the most memories of any of the dresses about how this one came to be. It is floor-length pink satin. With lace. To die for. I looked for a full-length picture of it, but couldn't find it. Some of my pictures are in a little portfolio {that's gone missing} that I put together for Sterling Scholar presentation my senior year, so my dance picture collection is missing a few; there are at least two other pictures of dresses I made for dances not shown here. But I digress. Back to the pink prom dress. The top is the same as the first dress I showed, but the skirt is different and totally amazing. There are gathers at the bottom, pulling it up at intervals forming a scalloped hem which reveals lace underneath. It was so gorgeous. Unfortunately, her date got food poisoning at dinner {bad shrimp} and their evening was cut short.

I made this dress for a friend for Senior Cotillion. We were juniors, but her date was a senior, so they let her in :lol:. This fabric had a sort of metallic finish to it. This dress is another favorite.

This is me at Homecoming my senior year. I've reigned in the big hair, but only slightly. I'll bet that my hair is still a good 3" tall here. My date had a girlfriend {who he later married}, but his parents didn't want him to 'steady' date someone seriously at such a young age and told him he had to take someone else to the Homecoming dance. We were work friends so I asked if he'd go with me. He was sweet enough to buy the dance tickets {because it was at his school} and drive, but it just isn't the same as when someone asks you to the dance. At your own school. My sister wore the dress to the Junior Prom later that same school year, although I'm not sure how she ended up there because her date was a senior and she was a sophomore. Isn't he charming?

This is my sister at Homecoming her sophomore year and my senior year. It caused a bit of friction between us that right out of the gate, she had guys asking her to the dances.

And this is my sophomore sister at MY Senior Cotillion. I didn't get asked. And now I have side effects from missing the prom :rofl:.

This is my sister at her Senior Cotillion.

And here she is at the Spring Formal her senior year in college. She married her date :biggrin:. I made this dress for her when she was in High School and she wore it again to this dance. The top is black velvet and you can almost see the sequined trim bordering the satin skirt.

As an adult, I can look back on it and see just how stupid the tradition is. From what I remember, you show up late to the dance, stand in line for an hour to get your picture taken, wait for a slow song so you can wrap your arms around each other and sway back and forth while slowly turning around in a circle, and then you leave for the after party. Somewhere an untruth is told about how high school is supposed to be the best time of your life and the dances are the highlight. When you're there and nobody is interested enough in you to ask you out {like at all, not just for dances}, it does weird things to your not-fully-developed-hormone-riddled-non-rational-thinking brain. I made dresses for almost every semi-formal and formal dance in high school, and then I sat home the night of the dance {unless I'd mustered enough courage to ask someone}. It took a toll. Even in later life, I still think I've missed something {:crazy:} and really want to go to the charity balls that go on around here every year so that I can dress up and have a handsome man dressed in a tux pick me up in a limo and take me out for an elegant evening. It is a lot of pressure to put on kids; both the kids who have to come up with the guts {not to mention the scratch} to ask someone to a dance, as well as the kids who are waiting to be asked to this event of all events. That is why the Prom {and all other school dances} should be outlawed.

To finish up, here's a little bit of the 80's Prom scene to go with today's post, just to show that the Prom does work out for some people :lol:.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Apron № 108: Rose Garden

I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. –Claude Monet

One of the girls in my neighborhood is in 4H at school. Or is it FFA? I got it confused last time I talked with her mom about it and now I'm all mixed up. I think it is FFA :confused:. Well, anyway, one of those. Every year they have a fundraiser and each member is asked to get five donations for a silent auction at their banquet. She asked me if I might donate something, and so I made this apron.

It is similar to one I made before. In the comments for the other Rose Garden apron, someone suggested that it looks very 50's. I think it looks a little bit 80's :lol:. But I'm OK with that. I grew up during the 80's, and a little bit of it now and then isn't such a terrible thing. I'm hoping that it will get at least $25 for their fundraiser. I've considered selling aprons in an Etsy shop, but don't know that anyone would want to pay what I'd like to charge for them to cover supplies and make it worth my time {$50}, and after 108 of them, I'm not sure I'm in love with making them enough to charge less {$35}. I kind of drug my feet on this one, and spent all day on it, instead of just getting it done. I do think they make really thoughtful gifts, though, and so I'll probably make a few more to give away. I'm :crazy: like that.

Today's post brought to you by:

My 2011 Finishes

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Need for Speed or A 1970's Volkswagen Beetle vs. A Porsche 911 Turbo

Q: Why do blondes drive VW's? A: Because they can't spell Porsche.

You may or may not know that I have a soft spot for the Volkswagen Bug. So when this segement came on Top Gear, pitting a 1970{ish} Volkswagen Beetle {top speed: 80ish MPH} against a Porsche 911 Turbo {top speed: 196 MPH} in a drag race, it was with more than a little interest that I watched. It was awesome :biggrin:. And so I'm sharing.

I realize this is a 10-minute clip. But I think even the non-car enthusiast will get a kick out of it. So just watch it. You'll thank me later.

Civil War Reproduction Fabrics: Giveaway Winner Take Two

If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking. –Buddhist Saying

Unfortunately, I did not hear back from Susan, who was drawn as the winner of the Civil War Reproduction Fabrics. And so Wanda and I drew a new winner, because this lovely pack of fabrics needs a good home. The fabrics go to:

:partytime: Dawn :partytime:
at Adventures in Living with the Jacksons

who said, I would probably use the fabric to make the Civil War Quilt. I've had my eye on it for a while.

Dawn, check your e-mail :biggrin:. Thank you to everyone who participated, and especially those who left their contact information :wink:.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sabbath Songs: Face to Face

And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. –2 Nephi 25:26

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Civil War Reproduction Fabrics: Last Call for Susan

Opportunities are never lost; someone will take the one you miss.

I announced Susan as the winner of the Civil War Reproduction fabrics last Saturday, but alas, I have not heard from her. It is kind of my own fault because I didn't follow my own rules very well. I deleted duplicate comments, but forgot to check for contact info, and the winner was already drawn when I realized that I had no contact information for her. If I had been thinking, I would have gone through and removed all the no-contact-info entries at that point and then proceeded with the giveaway. But it was kind of like a pop-quiz and I'm not really quick on my feet. The best thing I could think to do at the time was to go ahead and hope that Susan came back and saw that she was the winner. I kind of owe an apology to everyone who followed the rules. Sorry guys. I'm all about the fair play, but I kind of messed up this time. Will you forgive me?

Here's what I'm going to do: Susan, you have until 8:00 pm MDST tomorrow, March 27, to email me, and If I don't hear from you by then, I will go back to the original post and delete all the comments with no contact information and re-draw. I think that way is the most fair. Everyone who didn't have contact information before had a fair chance of winning {even though they weren't supposed to} and if I have to re-draw, I'll take care of that.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Three Hundred Sixty-Two

Patience: A minor form of despair disguised as a virtue.
–Ambrose Bierce

361 is the number of days since the company Mr. Bug was working for downsized and completely eliminated his department, and therefore his job.
361 is the number of days I've been anxious, more-so than usual, about every penny we spend.
361 is the number of days we've been without health insurance.
361 is the number of days that no one in my family has had strep throat, ear infections, broken bones, gaping wounds requiring stitches or anything else that would require a trip to the doctor's office or emergency room.
361 is the number of days that I have been counting every blessing, grateful for what we have.
361 is the number of days that I have put my trust in my Heavenly Father that even though I couldn't see what is ahead, He is mindful of me.
361 is the number of days that my faith, hope and patience were tested and cultivated.

362 marks the day that Mr. Bug starts a new job.
362 marks the day that I can stop holding my breath.
362 marks the day that we start a new chapter in our lives.
362 is a good number.

And 313 is the exact number of minutes I waited after hearing the news to shop for a little bit of fabric :mischief:. I got it on sale. I promise.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bradbury 13: A Bit About Ray

I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library, and it's better than college. People should educate themselves — you can get a complete education for no money. At the end of 10 years, I had read every book in the library and I'd written a thousand stories.
–Ray Bradbury

He's been writing for the better part of a century. He has published more than 300 short stories and novels. Ray Bradbury has captured the imaginations of many, inspired those around him to create and influenced the way we look at life. His most profound tales are those that are based on his own personal experiences and go beyond mere entertainment. They provoke thought and prompt action. Like a ripple in a pond, growing bigger as it moves outward, his influence on pop culture is so profound it is impossible to tell how far reaching it truly is.

Ray Bradbury is a prolific writer. He loves writing and, as it turns out, audiences world-wide love reading his stories. I enjoyed this little clip of Ray Bradbury talking about how he got his start in writing.

• Learned to do magic tricks and loved magic almost as much as writing.
• Never obtained a driver's license.
• Has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
• There is a crater on the moon named Dandelion Crater in his honor.
• There is an asteroid in the belt between Mars and Jupiter named 9766 Bradbury.
• Sold newspapers at a corner stand to support himself before his writing career took off.

Thanks, Ray, for making the world a more beautiful place.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Creamy Black Bean Salsa Chicken

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.
–Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

I really love crock pot cooking. I requires minimal effort but the results don't reflect that at all. Once the ingredients are in the pot, you can leave it to its own devices. As a matter of fact, you can leave it home cooking while you do errands or work or whatever and there is no worry that the place is going to burn down while you're gone. Plus, when you come back home, your house smells all yummy and dinner is ready. This is one of our family favorite crock pot recipes. Even the picky eater Little Bugs like it. With ketchup :rolleyes:. The name is kind of a mouthful, so we just call it Chicken With Awesome Sauce. Trust me. It lives up to its name.

Creamy Black Bean Salsa Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup hot water
1 chicken bouillon cube {or 1 tsp bouillon granules}
1 cup salsa
1 can {15 oz.} corn, drained
1 can {15 oz.} black beans, drained
1 package taco seasoning
½ cup sour cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

• Dissolve the bouillon in the hot water; stir in the taco seasoning packet. Drain corn and black beans.
• Place chicken in a {greased} crock pot. Put black beans, corn and salsa over top of the chicken and then pour the broth and seasoning over top of everything.
• Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours {or 3 to 4 hours on high}.
• Remove chicken from the pot with a slotted spoon and place on a serving dish. Stir sour cream and cheese into the sauce in the slow cooker; pour the sauce over the chicken.

Serves 4

• I like to make Mexican rice or even just plain rice and put the Awesome Sauce over both the chicken and rice. The Awesome Sauce is also great on tortilla chips.
• This makes A TON of Awesome Sauce. I only have a small crock pot {like 2½ quarts or something} and I have a small family so we always have a lot of sauce left over. If you have a bigger crock pot and a bigger family, you could easily do 8 chicken breasts and still have plenty of Awesome Sauce to go around.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Things have a momentum, and at a certain point you can't really tell whether you have created the momentum or it's creating you. –Annie Lennox

I'm really excited to have this quilt finished. It has been hanging around ready for quilting since July. My list of Ph.D's is way too long and so it has been nice to cross a few things off the old list the past few weeks. I sewed a strip of squares across the back and included an embroidered :crazy: tag in the strip. I was as concise as possible and I used the biggest font I could fit into that 2" square {click on any of the pictures for a closer view; right click them to open in a new tab}. It went pretty fast and gets the job done.

I used fabrics from Frolic by Moda in this quilt. When it came out last spring, I fell kind of head over heels for it. At about the same time, I came across a tutorial that finally made Jelly Rolls make sense to me. It was kismet. I bought the Frolic Jelly Roll as well as some yardage {and then some more yardage after that}, but had other projects that needed my attention, and so I didn't get the top together until July. Then other projects got in the way again.

I think that at the time I was a little bit intimidated about quilting this quilt, or really any quilt for that matter. At the time I'd never quilted a whole quilt and was worried about messing up. I'd planned to do straight-line quilting in a diagonal cross-hatch pattern, and when I pulled it out to finish it, that still seemed to be the best idea. But I added a little flair to the top border. I echo-quilted the rick-rack and then did feathers across the top. It was fun. As you can see, it's not perfect. Doing larger/wider feathers was a little bit trickier than the narrower ones I did on Cozy Posies, but I still think they came out pretty all right.

This quilt is called Magic because that is what the tutorial is called. While I've been working on it I've had this little earworm all weekend long, so I thought I could share. What are friends for, right? The video portion is silly, but this one had the best audio {aside from the official video, which had embedding disabled}, and really, that is what music is all about, isn't it?

Today's post brought to you by:

My 2011 Finishes